COVID-19 has been challenging in many ways, but it has also allowed us to realize several problems in our healthcare system. More than 500,000 tests are conducted every day, however, long wait times are expected due to a shortage of Medical Laboratory Technicians.
Christine Nielson, CEO of the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science in Hamilton, said in a recent interview with CBC, “The number of new graduates isn’t enough to keep pace with people retiring from the industry. We also know that in the next five years, 50 percent of our workforce is eligible for retirement.”
The aging population in Canada has also increased, which is largely responsible for this increased demand on health services. Medical Laboratory Technicians have become some of the most needed healthcare workers in Canada, and – as Indeed mentioned in a CBC article -it has seen laboratory positions increase by 58 percent over the past few years.
The reason why the demand cannot be matched is not due to a lack of interest in the profession, but rather a lack of funding which is required to expand seats in the programs.
Medical Laboratory Technicians are needed even more in the countryside, as they are the ones facing the most significant worker shortages. As a result, the workforce is understaffed and overworked. The Coronavirus has amplified this issue as the numbers of daily tests have increased. In addition to the shortage, many practicums have been canceled in order to not put the students at risk.
This pandemic has really shown us what an important role Medical Laboratory Professionals play in our healthcare system, now more than ever. Medical Laboratory Technician is one of the most needed professions in Ontario and a great career choice for those looking for more employment opportunities. Moreover, the program can be completed in just a year, making it a great advantage for those who wish to enter the workforce quickly.
Learn more about the Medical Laboratory Technician program here and make a difference in people’s lives.